Swing the Clubhead
So Phil Mickelson has left his instructor Butch Harmon. Tour players need any possible edge – the competition is relentless. So, if a new instructor might bring some new knowledge or just a fresh attitude … I get it.
And maybe the same is true for amateur golfers. But … I think amateur golfers are looking for something that Tour players already have – a good golf swing.
Let me say that again – a good golf SWING. Most people don’t swing the golf club. They hit or hack or flip … but they don’t swing.
The “King of Swing” was Ernest Jones. Mr. Jones was a Brit who lost a leg in World War I … but still kept breaking par after the loss of his leg. Ernest’s mantra was “Swing the Clubhead”. In fact his classic book of the same name was published in 1952. Here are some of the titles of chapters in “Swing the Clubhead” :
* Good Golf is Easy
* The Swing
* Swinging vs. Hacking
* How to Acquire a Swing
* Timing and Rhythm
* Obstacles to Swinging
How about the title of the first chapter – “Good Golf is Easy” …? It has a sequence of photos of a 5 year old girl with a perfect golf swing … she’s just SWINGING the golf club.
What happened to the golf swing? Well, the obsession with power wasn’t good for most golfers. Then that led to the emphasis on body positions, instead of the swinging and timing of the swing.
Many years ago a senior golfer came to me for help – he’d been taking lessons from a young, mini-tour golf pro in Florida. This young professional emphasized “coil” to such an extent that this senior fellow told me that his body was actually all bruised-up (I took him at his word – I didn’t want to look).
The idea to use the body as a spring that should be coiled and then unwind with great power has become the goal of too much golf instruction. Maybe that technique is good for young, strong, flexible, talented Tour players (maybe) … but, I think it’s disaster for most of us.
In fact, maybe Phil would be better off reading “Swing the Clubhead” than finding a new instructor.
GM and Head Golf Professional